Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gratitude for people who Care

If you have been around me (or tried to get ahold of me) lately, you may have noticed that I've been less than fun to be around.

I feel really bad about it, but I physically feel so rotten and I can't consistently keep the happy going. I've found I'm able to keep the vertigo and migraines under control if I don't exert too much energy on anything other than the bare minimum (eating and keeping my kids and hubs alive). This has been really discouraging for me. I'm used to being tired and grumpy when pregnant, and I was prepared for all that fun stuff. This unpredictability of when the vertigo and/or migraine is going to hit, how bad it will be when it hits and for how long... that has been rough. I hate being thrown curveballs.

I'm going to openly admit that I've resented this unpredictability. I've mentioned maybe a few (million) times that the life of a LEO family is already hard on any form of structure. I've always compensated by being extremely independent and capable of handling everything (plus other peoples' stuff) on my own. It is a part of me and I will admit while I'm happy that I'm known for handling whatever I need to, it can be a lot of pressure sometimes. (I'm realizing most of that pressure is self-inflicted and I'm going to work on that at a later date when I can take the time to really give it the energy it will take, so don't get on me about it right now. Sam has been giving that lecture like a pro lately and I only need on person nagging me to death.) Anyhow, for a gal who needs to be extremely capable and prepared to handle anything at anytime, this handicap is more than just irritating right now.

I've felt kind of alone in it too. I mean, Sam is always here to support (for pity's sake, he took on the Heise gig--- which rocks--- because he wanted to make it easier for me to justify taking a lighter piano load this year), but at the same time, he isn't actually physically HERE. Plus, I can't call him crying every time I feel icky. He had important things to do too. I've tried to talk to a few people, but I always hear, "well, you're KIMBER. Everyone knows you don't need help. You can handle it."

That's true.

Really, it is. But, I guess I still have wanted to know someone is willing to help me out if I do need it sometime.

Aren't we humans just silly? We don't need help, or want it, but we do want to know someone would help us if we did want or need it. So. Silly.

Anyhow, yesterday I was at my Bountiful Baskets site and of course, we had a huge pile of volunteers helping. They don't make a deal of it, but I few of them have told me they are coming more lately because they are worried I'll overdo it or something. I love these people who didn't know me before produce, but now get up early on the weekend to make sure someone else is covered.

During that time I got to visit with a friend from church. She spoke in church awhile back and part of her talk was about when she had vertigo out of the blue for a period of time. I sat and talked with her about it because few people understand how it is to have this invisible ailment that strikes out of nowhere and makes you completely incapable of much at all for however long it lasts. It was so nice to just talk to someone who understood how that has felt.

Then, a sweet gal from church (who is very very busy all the time) texted me and offered to take the kids off my hands if I needed it, totally out of the blue! I was so surprised but really appreciated the time she took to offer to help. Just the offer was a stress reliever.

Then I felt bad for being so resentful the past few months. I posted this little blurb on fb I want to share:

I had two people from my church today offer to help me out individually. I may be silly, but it meant a lot to me. I've felt like no one at church cared that I've been so darn sick and even judged me a bit for it and it kind of hurt my feel goods and made them feel bads. It meant a lot to know a few people noticed and didn't mind my grumpiness as of late and still wanted to help. Thanks for that.
And thanks to all my friends who keep checking in on me. Just knowing someone cares enough to check makes the sickies more bearable. I sometimes forget to be grateful for all the awesome people around me and just wallow in my frustration with not being 100% right now. Thank you for pulling me out of that funk a bit this morning.
Truly, I am really grateful right now. After posting that I got a few notes from friends and I realized I get a lot of encouragement all the time and I have not appreciated it like I should have. 
Today, I took the time to notice. Before church a friend made a point of finding me and saying hello and seeing how I felt. Another friend (who had sick kids she left at home with her poor husband) came just to sit on my row at church by my kids and make sure I didn't need any help with them. Several people stopped by me in the halls and said hi and asked how I was doing. It means so much to know people really do care. I think I was missing it lately because I was focusing on my frustration and letting feeling sick overtake everything around me. I'm sorry for that. I am also so grateful for these people who make sure I know they care in their own ways. 
I want to encourage anyone who happens to read this to try something new this week. Take some time and think of the people you see every day. Even the ones who look like they are doing just fine. Take a moment and do something for them, anything. Go out of your way to greet them, drop them a note and tell them you care, swing a treat by... anything. Just do something just because you can. We don't see what people are struggling with and even if it may seem like no big deal to us, for them it may be one of the biggest trials they've dealt with in a long time. Even if they are "just fine," taking the time to be kind will mean something to them and it will do something wonderful for you. 
For those who are struggling, I want to encourage you to try something too. Try to notice that person who smiles at you, the one who says hello or asks you how you are doing. Realize that those little gestures are often the only way someone can think of to express how much they care. Be grateful for it and allow it to lift you up just a little bit. 
Thanks to all of you who have been giving me little boosts along the way lately. I can keep doing everything, even though I feel rotten, but I know it is because I have people who love me and make sure to tell me. Once again, overwhelmed at how lucky I am to be surrounded by goodness all the time. 

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